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Heli Skiing Myths Debunked

June 04 2013

Heli Skiing is often viewed as an extreme sport that is only accessible to a select audience. At Selkirk Tangiers, we offer a wide range of heli skiing options to suit your needs. So long as you are a strong intermediate skier or snowboarder, we have a package for you. Whether you are looking to experience the sport for the first time or are a seasoned veteran, we are confident that you will have an unforgettable skiing or snowboarding experience. For those of you that are researching a heli ski vacation for the first time, we have put together a brief list of the common myths with respect to heli skiing. Join us this winter to find out just how much fun heli skiing with Selkirk Tangiers is!

MYTH: I guess I should buff up on some espionage movies and figure out how to jump out of that helicopter!

FACT: It’s not James Bond. Unlike in the movies, you don’t jump out of the helicopter at all. Heli ski landing pads are not random. They are placed throughout our runs to allow easy access points to drop off and pick up groups, taking into account terrain, weather patterns, and layout of the surrounding forest. Some are naturally designed to accommodate our helicopters whereas others might need maintenance during the summer and fall months to make sure they will still be accessible once the snow falls.

MYTH: My husband and I ski together all the time. He’s going heli skiing but I don’t think I’m good enough.

FACT: Anything he can do, you can too! If you are reasonably fit, a strong intermediate skier or snowboarder, and have some powder experience, but most importantly WANT to go then you can do it! Like any sport, the mind preparation is key - a positive attitude and determination are often more powerful than having experience under your belt.

MYTH: I’m afraid I’ll get lost or not know where to go!

FACT: You are not alone - both figuratively and literally. Many people wonder about this with heli skiing. It is important to know that you are always following a guide. In our single day programs, two guides accompany the group for added assurance. Our guides will lead you down the heli ski run, stopping at certain points to re-collect the group and give instructions and tips for the upcoming terrain. The group will be spaced apart, in a single-file order, following closely to either side of the lead guides’ tracks ensuring you still get a taste of the powder.

MYTH: Will I survive my extreme heli ski experience?

FACT: Extreme? No. Fun? Yes! Just because super-star Travis Rice and his talented entourage came to STHS to hit up some of the most extreme terrain and lines during their filming of “Art of Flight” does not mean you will be doing the same. The experience of flying in a helicopter, reaching remote terrain, and skiing or riding in untouched powder is an exquisite experience that often gets misconstrued as extreme. The terrain we typically access is ideal for the intermediate skier or snowboarder, and as long as your fitness, ability, and powder experience is up to snuff, you’ll be living to tell over and over again of how awesome this is for anyone to try!

MYTH: We’ll be hitting up loads of first descents, right?

FACT: Our amazing 200+ named runs have been skied for over 35 years by our guides, staff, and guests. Though we are still discovering and naming new runs in our massive tenure, for the most part we keep to our traditional runs. Our runs are tried, tested, and true.

MYTH: So you’re called Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing, no snowboarders allowed?

FACT: Over 35 years ago when Selkirk Tangiers was established, there weren’t too many snowboarders around and now, it would be a bit of a mouthful to add “Snowboarding” to the name but of course, snowboarders are welcome! Even some of our guides switch out for a snowboard now and again. Skiers will always have the advantage in deep powder on flatter terrain because of their poles but our guides will try their best to give you a heads up when flatter terrain is approaching and remind you to keep up your speed. Keep in mind; fitness, ability, and powder boarding experience are always factors that will attribute to the best heli boarding experience!

MYTH: I can’t seem to find anyone to go heli skiing with me, guess I just won’t be able to go.

FACT: The best part about our heli skiing experience is that you will meet new friends and there is absolutely no expectation to bring anyone with you. Most of our products are designed for the individual or couple in mind, particularly the multi-day programs. As a group, you will eat together, ski together, and après together. You’ll find your new extended ‘heli ski’ family in both guests and staff at STHS, so much that you will never be able to return ‘alone’ again!